Tavern Talk: Video Review - JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

If I'm being honest, I went into last weekend expecting Jumanji: The Next Level to do well enough, but I'd be lying if I said I thought it would manage to beat its predecessor or set off an unprecedented weekend run making it something of a breakout sequel. People enjoyed the 2017 re-boot well enough as it served as a pleasant surprise against the divisive The Last Jedi as it, along with The Greatest Showman, demonstrated what serious legs were all about; Welcome to the Jungle legging it to nearly a billion dollars worldwide off of only a $52.7 million opening. The film would ultimately gross over $404 million domestically and it seems Sony's sequel will in fact take it...to the next level. The $60.1 million opening for the film marks the thirteenth largest December opening ever and the largest December debut for Sony. Of course, the film will face the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this weekend, but given opening weekend audiences gave the film an "A-" CinemaScore along with the fact the film played to a crowd that was only 29% over the age of twenty-five versus the previous installments 45% shows that not only did the sequel bring in a larger crowd, but it brought in a younger crowd putting it in a fantastic position heading into the holiday frame. Internationally, The Next Level added thirty-four new markets after beginning its international release last weekend, pulling in $85.7 million from international markets. The Next Level pushed its total international cume to $152.5 million for a $212.6 million global total. Needless to say, I can't wait for Christmas 2021 when Jumanji: Chinese Democracy opens. The other two new wide releases last weekend, Warner Bros. Clint Eastwood-directed Richard Jewell and Blumhouse's cheap/fast-tracked re-make of Black Christmas failed to ignite the same kind of conversations Jumanji did though, as both films went into their opening weekend with studio estimates pegging them somewhere around the $10 million mark while in reality neither could compete as Jewell only mustered $5 million on a $45 million budget and Christmas pulled in $4.4 million on a $5 million budget. Also of note were a couple of limited releases that performed well last weekend as A24 gave the Safdie Brothers and Adam Sandler's Uncut Gems five initial locations in which the drama delivered the studio's largest per screen opening average ever with $525,498 total for a $105,100 per theater average before the film goes "wide" on Christmas day. Additionally, Lionsgate's Bombshell starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie debuted in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles ahead of its nationwide opening this weekend, where it delivered an estimated $312,000 for a $78,000 per theater average. As always, be sure to follow the official TAVERN TALK by Initial Reaction YouTube channel as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you can find a new review (or reviews) each week!

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